Report # 2 - Avoiding 7 Deadly Pitfalls
When Selling Your Home! ...
- Deadly Pitfall No. 1 - There are many stories about homeowners
who have tried to sell their own home only to have a buyer
tie up their home for 3 to 6 months trying to get financing.
Because of anxiousness to sell, homeowners fail to find
out ahead of time, before any contracts are signed, whether
the buyers have made arrangements for a loan or whether
they have even talked to a lender at all. 85% of buyers
in the market to buy a home today do not know how much they
can afford, according to lender guidelines for home loans.
It is very disheartening (sometimes sickening) when a homeowner
finds out the buyer cannot get a loan to complete the sale.
Even though you may feel uncomfortable doing so, you must
be firm in getting information out of buyers, as to their
ability to get a loan. Do not tie up your home in a contract
until the buyer has brought you a letter from their lender
stating they are pre-approved, not pre-qualified. There
is a difference. Pre-approved means the buyer has been approved
for a loan by the underwriter (the person who says yes or
no) and the is money waiting for them once the house is
approved. Pre-qualification is the loan officer's opinion
as to whether the buyer qualifies for a loan. The loan officer
does not make the loan decisions. They only take the buyers'
information and pass it on. The underwriter is the one who
says yes or no. Taking this advice could keep from costing
you months of headaches, bunches of time and money, and
the turning away other buyers who may be much more qualified
to buy your home.
- Deadly Pitfall No. 2 - Watch out for the real estate
bargain hunters. Owners, who try to sell their own home,
are prime targets of bargain hunters who will try to high-pressure
you into taking offers far below market value. In other
words, they want to steal your home. They are, normally,
excellent buyers who either pay cash for your home or have
large down payments. Do not let the dollar $$ signs intimidate
you. Stick to your guns.
- Deadly Pitfall No. 3 - Make
sure you do market research before you price your home.
Try to find a minimum of 3 homes similar to yours that have
sold in the past 6 months. Also, try to find at least 3
homes that are currently for sale that are similar to yours.
These homes are your competition. If the other homes offer
more for the money, your home will sell your competition.
Pricing your home in the fair market range is critical to
your success. Many homeowners get greedy and grossly over
price their homes. This destroys the marketability of a
home. Do not rely on rumors or what your neighbor said.
Verify every sales price at the County Assessor's Office.
You can go online to search the address of the property
you want a sold price on or you can call them (number on
their website). They are very good at helping you find what
you want. This will let you know if the neighbor is being
truthful or if they are stretching it (It is amazing the
number of homes in a neighborhood that have sold for less
than the neighbor said). At the other end of the spectrum,
some homeowners price their homes too low. They fail to
get the fair price they are entitled to. The asking price
should be at the upper end of the fair market value range
with the homeowner expecting to get a price that is in the
mid-range area of the fair market value range. Paying for
a professional appraisal will help immensely! Then you have
something to show potential buyers the value of your home.
- Deadly Pitfall No. 4 - Watch out for the stalkers. These are dishonest people who
come through your home to see what they can come back to
steal at a later time, when you are not home. They will
appear to be very legitimate buyers. Always ask to see the
potential buyers' driver licenses. If they refuse, do not
let them into your home. Explain the reason you want to
see their driver licenses. If they are legitimate buyers,
they will be more than happy to show you them. Write their
names and drivers license numbers down. This could mean
the difference of being safe or being robbed. Be firm in
this step. Do not be a wimp. It could cost you!
- Deadly Pitfall No. 5 - Be
prepared for the buyers, who make you an offer, to knock
off an amount equal to a real estate commission. This will
come right off the top before they start to negotiate with
you. Buyers who look at homes for sale by the owner know
the seller is trying to save the real estate commission.
Decide how you intend to handle this problem ahead of time.
A home is worth only so much, regardless of who sells it!
- Deadly Pitfall No. 6 - Be
ready for phone calls late at night and early in the morning.
Potential buyers are only concerned about one thing; their
own needs. They will try to pressure you into showings at
times that are convenient for them, but may be very inconvenient
for you. Don't be so anxious that you let them control you.
Be friendly and kind, but be firm. If they are really interested
in looking at your home, they will be accommodating. Experience
has shown that the high pressure, pushy buyers are the ones
that are the time wasters.
- Deadly Pitfall No. 7 - Do not fall into the trap of trying to copy what the traditional real estate companies do in marketing your home. Do not spend the money, you are trying to save, on display ads placed among the traditional real estate companies' ads. Studies have shown that owners who sell their own home and place ads in the classified section under "homes for sale" will get five times more calls than those who run ads in the display section (including traditional real estate companies). Be creative in your marketing. Look to other industries, which use good marketing, to pattern your marketing after. Don't be afraid to be different. Advertising only sells 5% of the homes advertised (statistically proven by the National Association of REALTOR®s). Statistically, only 1% of REALTOR® open houses sell. Why would you want to have your home open for 3 hours on a Sunday afternoon, only to have potential buyers come straggling through and never buy. If you want to hold an open house, hold it open for only a fifteen-minute period of time. Place signs in strategic places. Flood the neighborhood, apartment complexes, Laundromats, grocery store bulletin boards, and a bulletin board at work with flyers stating this is the only time you will hold your home open. Everyone must be on time. State that no showings will be held prior to this time. If someone wants to look at your home prior to this time, be firm in telling them the date and time set is the first time they can look at your home. This open strategy creates the auction affect when a group of people shows up. Have written hand outs to give them on price, features, and other information. Let everyone in attendance know the date when you will be looking at all offers. Make this date 3 days after the open house. This gives legitimate buyers time to get other opinions and inspections, if they desire. All of this creates, in the mind of those in attendance, scarcity (We'd better move on this one before someone else beats us to it), social proof the house must be a great value, and the urgency to make a decision... just like an auction. The mind-set is this must be a great home, if there are so many others looking. This is creative marketing.
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